Wednesday, August 5, 2009

O'Connor Glass... always show their "class"...

I attended the official announcement of Riverdance at the Confederation Centre last week and what excited me the most was seeing O'Connor Glass stepping up to be the proud sponsor of this excellent event to be held in the "Homburg Theatre".... Rod O'Connor and his family have been in the glass business in Charlottetown for close to 30 years.... and I can remember back in the early eighties I was doing a bunch of projects for 7-11 stores when the franchise operator from Moncton went "belly-up" and I along with a bunch of local subs including O’Connor’s got stuck with not getting paid... times got pretty tough and I was scratching my way back and when I needed more work done Rod and O'Connor's were always there... he's a fine gentlemen who has built a great business with excellent staff in a very quiet way... and when it was his turn to go to the podium he graciously acknowledged the role of the Confederation Centre and how humble he and his firm were to be able to play a part in it... he's a "class act" with a bit of Irish to boot... Kudos to Rod and his staff for their support.... and also to the Guardian editor for recognizing the Centre's efforts to extend their season to the benifit of our tourist operators...
Good news for the theatre and for tourism
Bringing Riverdance to P.E.I. will be a benefit to the Confederation Centre and to tourism's shoulder season.
The announcement last week that Riverdance is coming to P.E.I. is good news for the Charlottetown Festival and the Confederation Centre of the Arts, where the performances will be held. This top-flight showcase of Irish music, song and dance should be a big draw not only because of its international reputation but because it's performing nowhere else in the region during this two-week period in October. It's a bold plan. Charlottetown Festival artistic director Anne Allan told a news conference last week that the festival was extending its run into the third week of October by adding 18 performances of Riverdance, a production that has been seen by more than 21 million people in 300 venues in 32 countries. The Charlottetown show will run from Oct. 2-17. Filling the seats for 18 shows during this two-week period is an ambitious objective. But if the organizers can meet it, this year's experiment could, as Ms. Allan pointed out, pave the way for other national and international productions. One thing is certain. A show of this calibre can't help but bring visitors to the Island in the early fall, when the tourism season traditionally wanes. It should also encourage businesses that usually close down after Labour Day to stay open a little longer. That in itself is good news. There's no one secret to expanding the Island's tourism season into the spring and fall months. It takes a whole range of good ideas. And bringing Riverdance here in October is definitely a good idea.

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